By Richard Baker


As the dog days of summer linger, football looms on the horizon, triathletes are making critical preparation for their long course challenge later this fall and runners long for a little chill in the air of their morning runs, I thought I’d take a moment out of work and training to drop a line to all you fine folks.

Though I have stayed in touch with a few of you and seen others here and there at some races, I wanted to give the club a quick (fat chance when I’m talkin’) update on our move to Nashville, Tn. I can’t possibly cover everything that’s occurred since I moved in November and there is not enough time to personally address each you. Suffice it say that despite a relatively smooth transition and a strong and active Nashville club, we miss you guys a lot.

Let me start by saying, we have plenty of room in our house for anyone passing through or just wanting to visit. There are some great races for you pure runners. Namely the Country Music Marathon, which is part of the Rock and Roll Marathon series. It is held in April and includes a ½ marathon for those who are undertrained or unmotivated J.

For the triathletes the cycling is great. Very hilly with the occasional rough road. So, bring healthy tires and a 39 small ring. The rides are scenic and can be epic.

I left Tallahassee in late October 2002 and spent the winter and spring convincing Melanie (who had stayed in Tally while debating her employment options and trying to sell the house) that it wasn’t always 28 degrees and overcast. I had my own doubts, but didn’t let her know about. Winter was longer and colder than usual according to the locals. Here’s hoping. Anyway, Melanie made the move in April. We have traded in hurricane threats for tornado warnings. We are not convinced that this is an even trade just yet, but we’ll see. Otherwise, despite the long and unusual winter weather that I endured alone, I think we both agree, that summer here is hands down more user friendly. We get a huge kick out of the locals here complaining about the humidity. It’s absolutely laughable. We try to explain how drinkable the North Florida air is, but to no avail. We have found it very refreshing wearing a sweatshirt in the evening on the back porch. It’s warming up now to Tallahassee-like weather, but I’d compare it more to May than late July. It remains to be seen if Mel comes knocking on one of your doors come January J

I won’t bore you with job stuff, except to say that I am pleased with the chance that I took. My job is great and well worth the move, despite losing touch with friends and undergoing the trials and tribulations of moving. Melanie had the perfect job in Tallahassee, so her job satisfaction has taken a bit of blow. However, she negotiated a pretty dang good deal with the folks up here. So, I think it is all going to work out. Regardless, she took a leap of faith and I owe here a debt of gratitude for that.

The Music City is just that and I love it. Country music is merely what the rest of world knows Nashville as, but I have seen more great music since moving up here. There are no Bill McGuire, Bruce Moore or Jim Phillips’ mind you, but there is some talent up here. I’ve had to curtail my racing budget to offset the money I am spending on concerts- In the last two months alone- Jackson Browne, Eagles, Thorns, Jayhawks, Steve Earle, Tom Petty , Martina McBride and Fan fair, which is a bevy Country Stars all on stage over a three day weekend (Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and on and on) . Next month? Aerosmith and Kiss !!! What a hoot!!

Bike routes include passing by the houses (mansions) of Michael McDonald (Doobie Bros), Kim Carnes, Alan Jackson, one of the Judds (the ugly one I think).

The 4th of July fire works were featured live on A and E. The finale scared the bajeezus out of the kids. It was truly earth shattering.

The Tennessee Titans are icons up here and they love former ‘Nole- Sumari “Toasted” Rolle.

Melanie is enjoying the new landscape for photography and she is learning about the birds, plants and grasses etc…..and the wine stores, too J. Between that and some 10 different Malls to choose from, she is staying plenty busy. We haven’t found a pool to our liking yet. So, she’s not been in the water much. Myers Park, FSU, Trousdale and Premier are all better than the best one’s here. There are more choices, but none of them are all that good. Mostly indoor.

Cyclists are ridiculously fast up here and they come in large numbers. They descend hills like mad men and women. Runners are pretty darn brisk too.

Nashville is not “home” yet, but it’s getting there. Tallahassee is a special place, for sure. It may never call us back, but it will always be a part of us and full of many fond memories. Therapy sessions have almost completely erased all the trauma inflicted on me by the three JGeoff’s.

You guys may see us in town from time to time, as we’ll be back for 2 or 3 ‘Nole games each year (Tony, I found a group of people who like the Gators even less than I do) and we have family in North Florida, too. My work also includes some travel to North Florida, as well. In the meantime, if you ever have reason to be in the Music City please be sure to look us up.

Richard and Melanie Baker
5904 Cross Pointe Lane
Brentwood, Tn. 37027